29 July 2009

One L or two . . . ?

Today's tale is of my 2nd cousin, 4 times removed; Ishmael Flavel was the youngest of the eight children of John & Elizabeth (nee Wakefield) and he grew up in the Cambridgeshire village of Landbeach. Where, today in 1867, he married Harriet Barker in the parish church.

With such a superb first name, you would think he'd be easy to find - but no, Ishmael lends itself to too many different spellings . . . . as does his surname.

I first saw this branch of the family with the spelling I've already used - that is, one L. But there is a major antipodean branch (Ishmael's uncle William took his family to Oz in 1855) who spell their surname with two Ls.

Not for the first time, I digress . . . back to Ish & Haz. They had eight children in the next eighteen years, mostly in Landbeach but they did have a brief stay out in the Fens - third child Lily was born in Chatteris, Charles in Mepal and the 1881 census finds them in March (the small town) where Lesha & Frederick had been born in the previous three years.

At this point Ishmael was listed as a police constable but by the next year, and the birth of Ellen, they seem to be back in Landbeach and Ishmael was a labourer by 1891. Interestingly, their address in both 1891 and 1901 is "Webb's Yard, Landbeach" - can only be named after the family to which they, and I, are related!!

Their oldest son John, born 1870, made a break for freedom - I found him in Hackney in 1891 with his wife Florence, daughter Ivy and his brother Frederick. However, I discovered that Florence died in 1907 in the Chesterton registration district even though John was in Edmonton in 1911 with both daughters (Myrtle was with an aunt in 1901) . . . . who subsequently married back in this area.

Maybe I should have called this episode "Here & Back Again" !!

More soon.

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